of Saint Martin's
Martin's Abbey has begun its second century of
monastic life in Western Washington. The monks' involvement in
pastoral work actually began in 1891 at Tacoma's newly established Holy
Rosary parish. At the behest of German-speaking Catholics,
Saint Johnís Abbey, Collegeville Minnesota, sent
Fr. William Eversmann, O.S.B. to be pastor of the new parish. Within a few years the Benedictines of Minnesota sent
enough monks to found a new monastery and school about 50 miles south of
Seattle in what was to become Lacey, Washington.
Saint Martin's College, founded in 1895, is
the primary apostolate of the Abbey. The school went through a number of stages. First there was an abbreviated grade school, a high school, and a
two year college. In the
early 1940ís, the grade school was dropped and the college became a four
year institution. But by the mid-1970ís it was decided by the monks that
their only educational apostolate would be the college.
At present there are thirty-seven monks vowed to Saint Martinís Abbey. The monks, both priests and brothers, still work in a variety of
jobs in Saint Martinís University Ė from teaching to staff positions.
Other areas of ministry include parish assignments and ministry as
chaplains at hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. Nevertheless, the
primary activity of the monk is always prayer, especially the communal prayer of
the Divine Office. The monks meet three times daily for the Divine Office,
and they celebrate the Eucharist together daily.